"I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism."
September 5, 2012 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon is speaking out against the network after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage as part of its "Eye On" series. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
posted by mek (21 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

If you know any doctors, tell them about what's happening in Bahrain, where the Bahraini regime systematically targets doctors who treat victims of government violence. According to Physicians for Human Rights:
On the frontline, treating hundreds of these wounded civilians, doctors had first-hand knowledge of government atrocities. As a result of their efforts to provide unbiased care for wounded protestors, the government initiated systematic and targeted attacks against medical personnel. This assault on healthcare workers and their patients constitutes extreme violations of the principle of medical neutrality and are grave breaches of international law.
Nine such doctors recently had their sentences upheld in Bahraini courts. In May, the Obama administration resumed arms sales to Bahrain after a seven-month suspension, saying in a statement that they were doing so "mindful of the fact that there are a number of serious unresolved human rights issues."

The reason the United States government tolerates this behavior is because the Fifth Fleet is based out of Bahrain. If the American government didn't tolerate this behavior, it's a safe bet that CNN wouldn't tolerate it either.

Changing the government's behavior would presumably change CNN's. This seems really quite backwards from the way things are supposed to work.
posted by compartment at 2:47 PM on September 5, 2012 [14 favorites]

I salute Amber Lyon, I salute her courage; as Greenwald points out, this is certainly going to make her resume stand out, but not in a way she may once have dreamed. I doubt that even Al Jazeera could get away with hiring her now.
posted by jamjam at 2:55 PM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

Once again - not a liberal media. Not a conservative media. A corporate media.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:10 PM on September 5, 2012 [39 favorites]

Fair and... Account Balanced.
posted by phaedon at 3:19 PM on September 5, 2012 [6 favorites]

iRevolution the blog by PhD Patrick Meier
posted by infini at 5:05 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there any connection between the blog and the movie or is it just an inevitable coincidence that two things would be named that? (FWIW, I think Patrick Meier is really terrific).
posted by naoko at 9:04 PM on September 5, 2012

I'm not joking when I say that I have a lot more respect for FOX than I do for CNN, speaking as a dirty atheist librul.

At least FOX doesn't try to hide what it's doing.
posted by bardic at 9:11 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not true bardic, they deny it night and day. The fact is, they don't have to hide what they're doing, because they don't care about viewers who aren't already convinced. I mean, it's not like Fox News is airing iRevolution either.
posted by JHarris at 10:38 PM on September 5, 2012

At least FOX doesn't try to hide what it's doing.

You're right. It's quite courageous of them to openly admit that they're fair and balanced.
posted by XMLicious at 11:58 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

It feels weird to see Amber Lyon being praised for her ethics. What I remember her for is her crusade against Craigslist -- where, two years ago, she posted a fake prostitution ad on Craigslist and then ambush-interviewed poor old Craig Newmark, eventually resulting in Craigslist being forced to shut down its Adult Services section. Later she did something similar to the Village Voice.

Based on those two stories (which is all I know of her), I have always thought of her work as sleazy and pandering.
posted by Susan PG at 12:06 AM on September 6, 2012 [5 favorites]

naoko, when I read the description of the documentary and from what little I know of following Patrick's writing and twitter timeline (I stopped about a year ago) this is the topic he has been following since its first emergence. I'd say the blog came first.
posted by infini at 12:11 AM on September 6, 2012

I mean, I think the naming isn't accidently coincidental.
posted by infini at 12:12 AM on September 6, 2012

This is a good place to like the SHAME project.
posted by clarknova at 4:22 AM on September 6, 2012

or link. whatever.
posted by clarknova at 4:24 AM on September 6, 2012

Scott Horton:
At its outset, the report quotes Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a man who was imprisoned and abused by the CIA, but who went on to lead the Libyan insurrection, with American backing: “All we seek is justice. . . . We hope the new Libya, freed from its dictator, will have positive relationships with the West. But this relationship must be built on respect and justice. Only by admitting and apologizing for past mistakes . . . can we move forward together as friends.” A hand of friendship has been outstretched, but with it a request that the United States reject its misguided practices of the past. It would be foolish and contrary to our national-security interests to ignore this offer.
posted by homunculus at 6:47 PM on September 7, 2012

Gah. That was supposed to go in the other Greenwald post.
posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on September 7, 2012

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